I'm apologizing here because this chapter is kinda short, and mostly a dud, a filler. So I apologize.
Thank you for all the reviews, and story alerts. They are awesome, and I apologize for not answering back reviews, but at this moment I am depending on library computers, and time is very limited.
Disclaimer: I do not own, in any way, shape or form, the X-Men, or any variation, thereof.
No, No it wasn't a date. The only date we've ever had was when we meet at the city Court to get married.
Rogue told herself as she looked around in her suitcase looking for something to wear.
It doesn't matter either way, because it isn't a date no matter what Remy says, because they are not a couple and this wasn't a date.
She was annoyed, at Remy, yes, but mostly at herself. She shouldn't have come here to give the papers Remy herself, Gus had been right. There was no need for her to come here. She should have just mailed them, and if he didn't want to sign them, then she would have let her lawyer handle it, not her, and would have gotten her divorce either way.
Actually, it wasn't all too late to do that, but it felt…unnecessarily rude and wrong. She didn't understand why Remy was acting so stubborn. And she'd thought things would be easy…
In the end, she chose to wear a black pant suit, with her hair in a knot. It was a meeting, and the outfit was to remind herself what this was, and that it wasn't a date, no matter what Remy was thinking. And that she would not want Remy in a physical way. At all.
She was here to finish the fake marriage to Remy, and afterwards marry Gus, in a real marriage.
"I will not forget," Rogue said to herself in the mirror, "that Remy doesn't love me, and this is all revenge."
There was no doubt in Rogue's mind that this was all revenge for acting so mean and rude that time five years ago, that's why Remy wasn't signing the divorce papers.
"He doesn't want me, and I don't want him."
The walk to the subway station on Seventh Avenue, in Brooklyn, from her hotel left her sweaty, her hair disheveled. She really wished he'd told her the restaurant that they were going, so she'd have time to fix herself a little. But no such luck, as soon as she made it outside the underground station, Remy was waiting for her.
He was still wearing the suit from earlier, but without the coat and the tie. Rogue felt breathless.
"How punctual," said Remy, "You look great."
Rogue laughed, because obviously it wasn't so.
"Well, finally a real smile!" said Remy, smiling, too.
"It could be because I am delighted to be here with you," said Rogue sarcastically.
Remy laughed again, and before Rogue could react, he leaned over to her and kissed her. It was a fast kiss, commonly known as a peck, a kiss not meant to be such a big deal, and one most certainly not meant to make Rogue as shaky as she felt.
Nevertheless, that short touch from Remy's lips had made her remember everything. Just that one short kiss and she found herself back in Mississippi, in Remy's apartment, with his arms around her.
"Are you okay?" asked Remy, as he saw her struggle with her breathing.
"Yes…is just that it was hot in the subway…the A.C. wasn't on," improvised Rogue, "Where are we going? Is it far?"
"Non, chère," answered Remy, grabbing her by the waist, while leading her to Flatbrush Avenue.
"What are you doing?" asked Rogue, when they stopped in front of store.
"I need to buy some things" said Remy, pulling her inside by the wrist. Inside he brought chicken, corn bread, macaroni and green beans.
"You're doing your grocery shopping now?" wondered Rogue.
"Yes, of course," said Remy. "I invited you for dinner, and I need some things."
"What? You're cooking?"
"One of my many hidden talents," said Remy, with a smile, while grabbing some sweet tea.
"I'd rather we eat out. I'll pay," protested Rogue.
"No, really, chère, I like cooking."
But Remy was already at the register paying. Once in the street again he grabbed her by the elbow, guiding her towards a perpendicular street, nearby, stopping in front of a very elegant town house.
"This is it?" said Rogue, astonished.
It was a beautiful house, with four floors in red bricks that looked as it were from the 19th century.
"I used to live at the mansion, but I like having some space to myself, and away from work. So I came here. It's a great place," explained Remy, opening the front door, "It has a small garden and the park is nearby. The beach from Coney Island is only a couple of train stops away, and as you can see, there's plenty I didn't leave in Mississippi."
What he was referring to, of course, was a painted mural, that Rogue recognized immediately. It was one of the main streets of the tiny town where they've met, Caldecott. The street that was where Mike's bike shop was, and the burger dinner, and the little bar Remy liked, where most of the locals hanged out.
"Did you do this?" she asked.
"No, my friend Poitr did it," explained Remy, "He's an artist."
"It's…captivating," said Rogue sincerely, "I look at it, and I can almost feel the heat, and humidity, and hear the bikes…"
"And smell the burgers from your work," said Remy jokingly.
"Yes, I think so too. It's a great memory. Sometimes."
"Things were easy back then. The hope, the dreams, those things…In any case, I suppose the memories are worth it. At least, most of them do."
Rogue just stared at the mural, caught in her own memories of the place, that were all now rushing back to her.
"I'm going to make dinner," said Remy disappearing from her side.
Rogue was so fascinated with the mural, that she hardly ever noticed the rest of the sitting room. But the smooth wood tables did not go unnoticed. Looking back at the mural, she discovered that some of the faces were familiar.
"It's Bojo!" she exclaimed recognizing the little boy, nephew to the owner, who used to bus the tables. "And that's Mickey!" the owner of the bike shop Remy worked at.
"Yes, there are a lot of familiar faces there," said Remy reappearing at her side as quietly as he had disappeared moments before.
"Am I there, too?" asked Rogue.
"Where?" asked Rogue looking at the mural intently.
"What does it matter, chère?" said Remy, shrugging. "C'mon, I'm making dinner. Want a beer or wine?"
"Wine," answered Rogue, thinking that she shouldn't be drinking alcohol.
She needed to have her head on right, but a glass of wine would help her relax, she didn't want to spend the whole night as tense as she was right now, and not make a big deal of something.
She followed Remy to the kitchen. Even if the mural had caught her attention, she didn't want to look at it anymore. It brought up the past, and she didn't want to remember anymore. She wanted to concentrate on only the future.
Remy was just as mysterious as the mural. He was the same, but different at the same time. Some things where just like the Remy she'd known; informal, chill, relaxed, but it was obvious that there where some things that she didn't know.
The man in a suit that met her at an office, and that said that there was no divorce, she did not know at all. And that's the one she was going to have to deal with.
"Here you go, chérie," said Remy handing her a glass of wine.
"Thank you, that was nice."
"Why wouldn't I be nice?"
"Well, you weren't nice today in your office at all."
"You caught me by surprise."
"Why won't you sign the divorce papers?"
"And as always, you're very monothematic."
"I've come because of that."
"You haven't come to see me?"
"Well, obviously, I'm glad to see you, but, really…in the end, I came mostly for the divorce papers, and your signature."
"And it hadn't occurred to you to get to know me a little before deciding I wasn't worth it?"
Rogue attempted to speak, but closed her mouth again.
"It wasn't like that, Remy," she said after some silence. "I met Gus at the hospital, when mother was a patient. In those days I was there, I saw how much he worked, how much he cared for his patients, and I fell in love."
Remy stayed quiet. Rogue had no clue as to what he was thinking, and that left her a bit disconcerted, because, well, the Remy that she'd known didn't have ulterior motives, he was easy-to-read and sincere.
Apparently, that wasn't anymore. This just reminded her of how little she really knew Remy.
"Have you invited me over so we could get to know each other better?"
"I don't know," said Remy.
"What do you want?" asked Rogue, her voice annoyed.
"What do you think?"
"I have no idea."
"I need some time to think, that much is obvious. I don't like rushing into things. I like being able to know my other options, and I never sign without knowing what I'm doing."
"Except the wedding papers."
"Yea, except that," said Remy, with a laugh.
"It's not funny. But, by all means if you think it's funny sign the divorce papers!" exclaimed Rogue, losing her patience.
"It's too soon."
"But it's been ten years!" insisted Rogue, "Is there a set time?"
"Not to me, there isn't," said Remy, getting some corn and chicken, putting them in a bowl, and walking towards the garden, "It's you that has a timetable, bébé."
"Because I'm engaged," reminded Rogue, following him outside.
"Et mariè," reminded Remy, in front of the grill.
"Yes, I know. I should have done it the other way 'round. I'm sorry, but I didn't even know where you were until that magazine article. Was I supposed to stop my life until I found you?"
"Did you even look?"
"Yes, in Caldecott."
"You didn't really want to find me."
In reality, it was the other way. Rogue had looked all over for him, eager to find him, but when she wasn't able to find him, she had convinced herself that she should be practical, because, they had never promised to wait for one another.
"I would have loved to see you," said Rogue quietly.
"Ok," said Remy, putting the chicken on the grill.
"And you?" asked Rogue, feeling rejected.
"Did you look for me?"
"After the show fiasco? Of course not," said Remy, without a doubt.
That hurt Rogue's feelings.
"Well then, you should be delighted of getting rid of me."
"We'll see," said Remy, drinking some of his beer.
"Is that why you invited me over for dinner?"
"And what can I do to convince you otherwise?"
"Try it," said Remy with a smile, "Tell me about you, I want to know about this sudden change."
"What sudden change?"
"Why do you want to go from artiste and nationwide store owner to become a homemaker?"
Rogue thought he deserved an explanation.
"When my mother was hospitalized, I was in Seattle, and she and I hadn't talked for 10 years."
"And the show?"
"She didn't go."
"Because at that moment she wasn't willing to let her arm be twisted, to admit that her daughter had become what she wanted, and not what she had chosen for me, but when I came back home, she welcomed me with open arms. We talked for the first time in a long time, and after that I couldn't leave. She's all I have. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed her, how much I'd missed having a family. For the first time in so many years, perhaps even my whole life, I stopped living from house to house, and from place to place, I stopped making plans for the future, I stopped having set objectives, but by first staying at the hospital, and later on, at home, I had time to reflect about what I've done with my life, and all that was left to do, and I realized I wanted to be more than Rogue Darkholme, painter, and company owner."
Remy nodded, indicating her to keep talking, that he was listening. It had always been this way; he had always been a great listener.
"So, I talked with my mother about family, about our relationship," remembered Rogue, "It wasn't easy, but I realized hat I was missing, and then…I met Gus," finished Rogue, abruptly.
"And you fell in love," added Remy, his voice incredulous.
"Yes, I fell in love. Why not? He's an incredible man."
Remy's attention was back to the grill, not saying anything, his concern at the moment being the chicken, and aluminum-foil covered corn. He looked so into what he was doing that Rogue had doubts he was even listening to her.
"Do you need any help?"
"Sure, put the cornbread in the oven, and, if you want anything else, the fridge is right there."
Glad to have something to do, Rogue went back into the kitchen. Like the rest of the house, it was done in red bricks, with wood finishing, nothing like the apartment Remy had had in Caldecott.
Even though Rogue told herself that she was only here because of the divorce she couldn't help the curiosity about what kind of life Remy led.
Rogue got to work in the kitchen. Making dinner with Remy like this felt like the most normal thing in the world. Most normal thing in the world? This is surreal! As she looked for things to set the table, she noticed the well stocked kitchen, and couldn't help but wonder if Remy often cooked for other women. Then she remembered Ororo Munroe. Rogue had talked about Gus, but Remy hadn't mentioned any woman in his life. That magazine article had never mentioned any particular woman, but said that he dated lots. Maybe there wasn't anybody important in his life. Would he say the truth if she asked him?
"So how is it that you started with art?" said Remy, entering with the food. "I remember that you were always doodling around, but I was surprised that you're working with this as a career."
"When I went to Cali, I was working on a gallery part time while going to school. I started exploring and experimenting, I had the ability to there."
"I used to do the same with the bikes when I was at Mike's. I understand. Go'n, chérie, I'm listening."
Rogue had some doubts. Even if it felt good to talk to him about how that dreaming girl had gone off and made all her dreams come true, she was conscious of the fact that this was why she didn't come have dinner with him.
"We have ten years to get up to date with, so start talking," said Remy, guessing what she was thinking, "Or are you…?"
"Chicken?" asked Rogue, with a smile.
Remy smiled too.
"Ok, fine, I'll give you a summary."
While, she was talking she noticed that it'd been a long time since she shared her work things with someone. Her brother, Grayton, was so proud of his little sister that he never asked anything, her mother was just happy to have her near now that she was sick, and Gus had more important things to do than to listen to her talk about her little 'coloring projects.' He hadn't said that to her directly, but Rogue knew he thought that his job was much more important. Truth was, Gus didn't ask her a lot of questions. Unlike Remy who didn't stop.
Rogue kept answering. Maybe it was because she was proud of her success, maybe it was to show him that she had really taken the opportunity that he had given her when they'd gotten married, maybe it was to show him that she wasn't an immature and rude woman, like she'd been with him five years a go, or maybe it was because he was really listening.
By the time they'd finished having dinner, Rogue had talked a lot, but Remy had barely told her anything about his life.
"Well, that's enough about me. Now it's your turn."
Maybe she'd just opened her very own Pandora's Box, but she needed to know more about this man she was married to.
"You read that article," said Remy, starting to clear the table.
"That was just blah, blah, blah," insisted Rogue, "You even said that."
"They got the basics right," said Remy, "Want more wine?"
"No, thanks," said Rogue, suddenly remembering that, the next morning, she'd have to talk to Gus, who without a doubt, will ask again about the divorce.
"I see that you don't want to talk about what you've done with your life," insisted Rogue.
"I work, help around with the X-men, play basketball, and fix a bike here or there when I get a chance."
"Are you telling me that you have a monotonous life?" asked Rogue, joking.
"I do what I can," said Remy smiling.
Rogue looked at him. It wasn't what the article had said, but before she could ask some more, the doorbell rang.
"I wonder who it is?" asked Remy out loud.
Rogue got up, ready to leave if necessary, but Remy nodded 'no' with his head.
"Sit," said Remy, "I don't know who it is, but I'll get rid of whoever it is."
Rogue doubted. While Remy went to get the door, she thought she should go. It was obvious that Remy was not going to let her convince him to sign the papers, and even if she felt comfortable with him, it wasn't a good idea to stay longer.
That was making her loose sight of her objective, it was making her come back to familiarity and comfort, and trust that they'd once had, and worse of all it was making her remember that night they'd shared together so long ago.
But that was the past, and Gus was her future, and she wouldn't, couldn't forget it.
At that moment, she heard voices. Apparently, Remy hadn't been able to get rid of whomever it was that had been at the door.
"I can't believe it!" exclaimed a woman from the kitchen door, looking at Rogue directly.
Rogue was looking at a petite and slim woman with brown hair, and blue eyes, who didn't look past thirty, wearing a pastel shirt.
Those eyes looked examined her, and then looked over between her and Remy.
"So it's true? Your married?"